French women raise £2k at Paris half marathon for Battle charity

Seven of the 13 French women who ran the Paris half marathon in aid of the Sammi B Foundation. Photo courtesy of Mauri Baldwin
Seven of the 13 French women who ran the Paris half marathon in aid of the Sammi B Foundation. Photo courtesy of Mauri Baldwin

A Battle charity’s founders are over the moon after 13 French women helped to raise more than £2,000 by running the Paris half marathon.

‘Les femmes’ raised £2,470 for the Sammi B Foundation, set up by Mauri Baldwin after his daughter Samantha died in 2011.

Samantha 'Sammi B' Baldwin

Samantha 'Sammi B' Baldwin

Sammi B, as she was known, battled with illness all her life but benefitted from multiple organ transplants and the charity promotes signing up to the donor register.

Mauri, of Telham Lane, said the fundraiser was a ‘tremendous success’ and thanked everyone for their support especially the women after their efforts on March 6 in Paris.

“A tonne of support came through for the event in form of local suppliers and donations, which was fantastic,” he said.

“A consistent sponsor of ours, G Collins & Sons, produced a couple of trophies for us to present to the girls which was really a nice touch for them.

“March 6, has been and gone now but it was a really exciting time for us, being our first international fundraiser.”

The money will go to the Papworth Hospital’s transplant unit, in Cambridge, as Sammi had a double lung and heart transplant there in 2002.

Katrina Saconney contacted Mauri asking to do the half marathon in aid of the foundation as she supports organ donation and it snowballed into a team of 13 runners.

Mauri and his grandson Zachary went over to France to meet the women before the race and he said they were lovely and very enthusiastic about raising money for their cause.

The ladies ran a successful social media campaign with the hashtag #sammibfoundation, posting regularly and helping to boost the total.

Mauri also managed to get sports manufacturers Eden Park, who make the French rugby team’s kit, to sponsor their running gear.

The grandfather cheered the women on during the race in France and spent time talking to people about the benefits of being on the register and agreeing to donate their organs, despite the language barrier.

Mauri said he understood it is a taboo subject but believes it is so worthwhile as Sammi profited immensely.

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